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Heartbreak for GIANTS Reserves

Ryan Miller  August 7, 2017 2:18 PM

Dawson Simpson was again named among the GIANTS Reserves' best players on Saturday.

Dawson Simpson was again named among the GIANTS Reserves' best players on Saturday.

He knew he had to score quickly and unfortunately the siren went just as he stepped off his line.

The GIANTS Reserves have suffered a heartbreaking five-point loss to the Canberra Demons in the NEAFL on Saturday at Wagga Wagga’s Robertson Oval.

With the GIANTS five points down, Jeremy Finlayson – who was making his return from a knee injury – took a mark about 45 metres out from goal.

The Riverina product turned and played on quickly only for the siren to go before he could get his kick away, leaving the GIANTS stranded on 10.15 (75) to the Demons’ 12.8 (80) 

GIANTS NEAFL coach Brad Miller said there wasn’t much Finlayson could have done to avoid what happened and that the 21-year-old almost won the game for the GAINTS. 

“We threw Jeremy Finlayson forward with about eight minutes to go because we thought he was a really good chance to take a couple of grabs and kick a couple of goals,” Miller said.

“He’d just kicked the previous goal, he knew he had to score quickly and unfortunately the siren went just as he stepped off his line. 

“It would have been a tough kick, he was kicking for the game but I thought he was fantastic when he went forward, he gave us an spark and nearly won the game for us.” 

Finlayson was making his first appearance since injuring his knee on his AFL debut five weeks ago against Geelong. 

Miller said Finlayson performed well at both ends of the ground, despite playing only the second half of the game. 

“He did everything right with his rehab and was probably a week ahead of schedule by playing but his application and attention to detail in his rehab is a testament to his character,” he said.

“He was really solid down back and we only moved him forward because we thought he’d give us a spark and win us the game which he nearly did.” 

The game was a see-sawing contest that saw the GIANTS lead by 12 points at quarter time then trail by nine points at the final break.

An inaccurate final term cost the GIANTS an opportunity to record just their third win of the season.

“We had the ball in our half for a lot of the game and unfortunately we missed a couple of easy shots,” Miller said.

“There was a bit of a fluky breeze but they were shots on goal that the guys would kick eight times out of ten. 

“It was disappointing that we were inaccurate but it wasn’t what cost us the game.”

With Shane Mumford’s bump on Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn during Saturday’s clash in Canberra set to be scrutinised by the AFL Match Review Panel, the GIANTS will be comforted by Dawson Simpson’s performance in the NEAFL loss. 

Miller said he could not have asked for more from Simpson, who was yet again named amongst the GIANTS’ best players. 

“He came back after playing his role in the senior team the week before and was obviously disappointed to go out of that team after performing well,” he said. 

“To front up and play the way he did was excellent, he’s been able to do that all year. He’s got fantastic character and led the team from the front this week.”

Midfielder Tendai Mzungu also featured amongst the GIANTS’ best, kicking two goals in what Miller said was his best game for the club.

“He was hard and tough in the contest, he laid plenty of tough tackles and won his fare share of the footy,” he said.

“To go forward and hit the scoreboard to was really important, it’s an area of his game that hasn’t been there earlier, so for him to go forward and punish them on the scoreboard was a little bit of cream on top of what was a great performance. 

“It was probably the best game I’ve seen Tenadi play for the club.” 

The GIANTS Reserves have a bye this weekend before they play their final NEAFL match for 2017 against the Brisbane Reserves at Spotless Stadium on Saturday August 19 at 12.55pm.

CANBERRA 1.3 4.6 9.7 12.8 (80)
GIANTS 3.3 3.8 7.10 10.15 (75)

GOALS:  Tiziani 3; Flynn, Mzungu 2; Lloyd, Mohr, Finlayson.
BEST: Mzungu, Lloyd, Shipley, Simpson.